John Carmack himself, going over some of the early history of id Software and playing a few levels of Wolfenstein 3D's first episode while providing commentary and anecdotes.

Pairs nicely with John Romero’s playthrough of Doom's first episode for that game's 20th anniversary last year. Now if only they'd team up and do a commentary track for Quake's shareware episode together.

(Hell, throw Michael Abrash in there too and make it nine hours long – I’ll buy the goddamn Blu-ray set.)

A recently unearthed experiment by Dirk Jones from 1997 in remaking the pig cop from Duke Nukem 3D in voxels.

Voxels were supported in the BUILD engine at the time, and 3D Realms briefly considered using them in the Plutonium Pak release of Duke3D, but performance and visual quality issues convinced them otherwise. The tech would eventually find its way into a bunch of other BUILD engine-based games, but mainly for small item pickups and decorations.

I don’t know of any game from the nineties that actually used animated voxel characters - this pig cop is pretty unique.

A recently unearthed experiment by Dirk Jones from 1997 in remaking the pig cop from Duke Nukem 3D in voxels.

Voxels were supported in the BUILD engine at the time, and 3D Realms briefly considered using them in the Plutonium Pak release of Duke3D, but performance and visual quality issues convinced them otherwise. The tech would eventually find its way into a bunch of other BUILD engine-based games, but mainly for small item pickups and decorations.

I don’t know of any game from the nineties that actually used animated voxel characters - this pig cop is pretty unique.

Dear 3D Realms Game Player…

This is a quick slide show to celebrate the opening of our forum on CompuServe. Visit us at “GO REALMS” and talk about Duke Nukem 3D and Shadow Warrior as well as our future and current games. We hope to talk to you soon.

[…]

Duke is obviously a SCI-FI game taking place in Los Angeles, an orbiting space station and an alien mothership. Shadow Warrior is a fantasy/ninja game.

Both games are progressing well and we honestly don’t know which one will be out first at this point. They are fighting it out on a daily basis :) The official release date is: “When they are ready”. But we expect at least one to be out this year. Maybe both, but it’s very hard to tell at the moment.

Both game will require 8 megs of RAM and likely be shipped on CD only for the registered version. Shareware will be distributed like every Apogee and 3D Realms game before them. :)

Net and modem play is in and working. We are not sure how many net players yet, although it will be at least 4, maybe more depending on speed etc.

Both games are likely to enter beta testing “any day now”. Sorry, but we are full of testers at the moment. Thanks for your interest to all of you who have emailed us to be testers. I wish we could let you all in, but obviously we cannot.

Thanks for visting the Apogee forum on CompuServe and be sure to check in here often for the latest gossip, shots and talk about the games.

— George Broussard, 8/11/1995

John Romero working on Doom in 1993.

John Romero working on Doom in 1993.

John Carmack showing Doom 3 for the first time at the Macworld 2001 expo in Tokyo. I remember being super-excited about this footage back then. That summer the coolest place to be was at the Doomworld forums – and the topic of discussion was this dark, muddy video.

Thirteen years on this presentation rather serves to mark the end of the Classic Era, both for id software and first-person shooters in general. Doom 3 would turn out to be a thoroughly disappointing game and the 2000’s a lost decade for id – leading to their acquisition by Zenimax, Carmack leaving to join the VR revolution, and the apparent mess they’re currently in.

Yet when you’re 30 years old and Steve Jobs calls you a legend, you’ve got to be doing something right.

The Duke Nukem 3D v1.3d CD-ROM had a pretty awesome /GOODIES directory on it. In addition to the Build editor and related modding utilities, it had a bunch of early screenshots and information on three other 3D Realms games in development at the time: Blood, Shadow Warrior and Prey.

These screenshots showcase a very early version of Prey’s custom 3D engine technology, and they came with an outline of the story by Tom Hall:

NOTE

Prey’s story and character are still in their infancy stages. None of this should be considered final product, just development info. We want to take the step, since the game is about being hunted, of making the character a Native American. The character will be a successful business person or politician, striking against the stereotypes. While a few aspects of Native American culture will be brought into it, it will be as part of fleshing out the character.

STORY

You are a successful Native American, fighting for part of what were your ancestral lands. When the ruling goes against you, you pack up your Hummer and head out to the wilderness to contemplate your future and hope for guidance. Suddenly, there is a blinding flash of light, your skin crawls with electricity and you black out. You wake to find yourself in a hostile alien environment. Strange creatures pour out of every crevice of the odd alien architecture, firing weapons of incredible might. You must find out how to defeat them: master the alien weapons, explore the foreboding battlefields to uncover their secrets, and discover what part you will take in this violent new world.

Hall, who in this text file describes himself as “Creative Director/Producer/Designer/etc”, would leave the Prey team and join John Romero at Ion Storm not long after this was written - and the game itself would not see release for another decade.

Q3DM4

Quake 3 Arena, Q3DM4.


  This is a shot of the gargoyle being redone with a new body and better skeleton. […] I digitized all the models in my office. I had a sweet setup with a small blue screen and video camera. That’s how we did most of the weapons too as well as the disembodied hand (I just used my own hand for that).
  
  — Kevin Kilstrom, Blood character designer


A reminder than many of the greatest, most memorable enemies and NPC sprites were digitized, palletized pictures of handcrafted clay sculptures and models.

This is a shot of the gargoyle being redone with a new body and better skeleton. […] I digitized all the models in my office. I had a sweet setup with a small blue screen and video camera. That’s how we did most of the weapons too as well as the disembodied hand (I just used my own hand for that).

Kevin Kilstrom, Blood character designer

A reminder than many of the greatest, most memorable enemies and NPC sprites were digitized, palletized pictures of handcrafted clay sculptures and models.

Jay Wilbur, Adrian Carmack, Bobby Prince, Kevin Cloud, John Carmack and John Romero in a fantastic picture from the archives of the Dallas News.

Carmack looks like he’ll beat you up while doing differential calculus, and Romero looks like someone’s aunt. Also notice the original Archvile, Spider Demon and Mancubus models by the window.

Jay Wilbur, Adrian Carmack, Bobby Prince, Kevin Cloud, John Carmack and John Romero in a fantastic picture from the archives of the Dallas News.

Carmack looks like he’ll beat you up while doing differential calculus, and Romero looks like someone’s aunt. Also notice the original Archvile, Spider Demon and Mancubus models by the window.

The jury is still out on whether this will be the game to kill Doom, but if the developers keep to only half of their promises, this will be a legendary title indeed.

Game Bytes Magazine, 1994

Two uncanny screenshots of Shadow Warrior from 1994, when 3D Realms was still Apogee and Ken Silverman’s BUILD engine was in its early stages. I love the sky texture in the first screenshot.

Errant Signal:

If Doom gives us a vision into the minds and interests of the people who made it, I think Quake gives us a vision into the time period that made it. A time period where 3D technology was nascent, shareware was slowly dying as a business model, and music genres like grunge and industrial were at their peak. And ultimately a period where the abstract, mechanics-driven shooters were dying off.

These days abstract worlds like those found in Quake can only be found in indie circles - your Kairo's and Antechambers. The days when a mainstream, wildly successful shooter could be a mood piece - and only a mood piece - died with Quake.

An smart and balanced retrospective. I like how it focuses on the game’s flaws as well as the things that make it unique - and the overlap between those two.

First impressions.


  To accommodate shading and dynamic lighting our 256-color palette exists in 16 rows of 16 colors that range from fully lit to nearly black. I’ll need a range for blood, a range for explosions, one for gray, and one range empty until the game is nearly complete. That empty range is used to solve color problems generated by the lighting.
  
  In the end, the majority of the textures must be built from the remaining ranges of 12 unique colors. If you don’t choose wisely, half way through the game you may find yourself with a palette that doesn’t offer enough range. At that point it’s too late to change.


Kevin Cloud of id Software, 1998 Gamasutra Interview

To accommodate shading and dynamic lighting our 256-color palette exists in 16 rows of 16 colors that range from fully lit to nearly black. I’ll need a range for blood, a range for explosions, one for gray, and one range empty until the game is nearly complete. That empty range is used to solve color problems generated by the lighting.

In the end, the majority of the textures must be built from the remaining ranges of 12 unique colors. If you don’t choose wisely, half way through the game you may find yourself with a palette that doesn’t offer enough range. At that point it’s too late to change.

Kevin Cloud of id Software, 1998 Gamasutra Interview

superactionfunboy:

The Classics! A sampling of My Quake 3 Character Skins

Masterful texturing work by Kenneth Scott.

superactionfunboy:

The Classics! A sampling of My Quake 3 Character Skins

Masterful texturing work by Kenneth Scott.